Friday, 23 August 2013

WAR!!! What is it good for?......

We travelled from Dubrovnik in Croatia to Sarajevo, Bosnia's capital. The journey was very scenic and beautiful. At our first rest stop in Bosnia Russell took this picture above - I never imagined Bosnia to look like this.

We caught the tram to get to our hostel, the tram was so old we had to take some pictures.

Ravaged by the war we were taken a back by all the destruction that remains almost 20 years after the war ended. Bosnia has randomly selected places to renovate. Instead of renovating and rebuilding neighbourhood by neighbourhood Bosnia choose certain buildings each year. This means you will see a sparkly new looking building right next to something that looks like this.

Arriving in Sarajevo from Dubrovnik was quite the culture shock & Russell took an immediate dislike to it. I thought it was ok, we were right next to an outdoor bazaar with loads of shops, bars and restaurants and it was really cheap so I was pretty happy really. 

We went out for some tea which was delicious. I had chicken with saffron sauce & cous cous and Russell had a Lebanon plate which had really ace bread, cous cous, hoummous and baba ghanoush. All that and 2 beers cost £7. It's not so bad in Sarajevo!

Our wifi in the hostel wasn't working and we wanted to work out how to get to our next stop - Montenegro so we decided to use an internet cafe. Off we went and paid 50p for half an hour. What do young people do after a war? Same as young people everywhere - play war games on the internet. The place was full of them.

I was looking on the internet for 30 minutes and just couldn't find a way to get to Montenegro that made sense, once the 30 minutes were up I asked the guy who owned the internet cafe who was also an unofficial tourist information. His answer 'you need to go to Dubrovnik'. What? No we don't we've just come from Dubrovnik (not a nice journey, passport control took forever). We decided to go back to the room and hope the wifi was working. It was working so I set about sorting it out. After about 20 minutes I realised. We've gone in the wrong direction! When we were in Dubrovnik we were right next to Montenegro but we had no wifi there so we didn't do the normal research we would do. Oh shit! Russell did not take the news very well, I guess it would have been ok if we were at least somewhere he liked but he hated Sarajevo. Cue a sleepless night for me cos it was my fault.

After sleeping on it we decided we would go to Mostar for 2 nights which is also in Bosnia then onto Dubrovnik to get to Montenegro, Mostar did look nice, its cheap and it will break up the journey. We sorted that bit out and went for a look round Sarajevo.

In our opinion there's not much to see in Sarajevo so being a bit morbid we decided to look at the war damage on buildings. Being in Bosnia we were interested in the war. We remember it going on as kids, I had a Bosnian refugee in my class at school & I remember my Mum being on call for the council and setting up a hall for the refugees one night but we didn't know much about the war. We read Wikipedia, watched You Tube clips and read other websites but I don't feel like I know much more now. It is really complicated with lots of different sides and some people on the same side even started fighting amongst themselves at one point. Sufficed to say it was a horrible war. 100,000 people were killed, 20,000-50,000 women were raped and 2.2 million people were displaced.

We spent the rest of our day in Sarajevo having a few beers and another cheap delicious meal. This meal was shopska salad, fresh bread with dipping yoghurt, beef goulash & spinach pie. With a couple of beers it cost less than £10.

So that was our time in Sarajevo, on to Mostar next and I am praying it is nicer than Sarajevo or I'm guna feel really bad about my cock up.

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